14 October 1950
Meeting on Wake Island between Truman and MacArthur
In early October General MacArthur received a telegram asking that he meet with President Truman on the progress of the war in Korea. United Nations forces had just advanced across the 38th parallel into North Korea, and Truman was concerned about the possibility that the communist government in China might intervene to protect Kim Il-Sung’s regime. In addition, MacArthur had recently embarrassed the administration by calling publicly for the use in Korea of Nationalist Chinese forces from Taiwan—something that the administration rejected for fear that it would antagonize the Chinese Communists.

Since the consensus in the administration was that MacArthur should not be kept away from his command for too long, it was agreed that the two men would meet at Wake Island in the Pacific. On the surface the meeting seemed to go well; MacArthur apologized for any embarrassment that his remarks might have caused the president, and assured Truman that the Chinese would not intervene in Korea. Truman, however, was infuriated that MacArthur had shown up for a meeting with the President of the United States dressed in his regular uniform and stained cap. He said nothing at the time, but the meeting did little to ease the president’s misgivings.

Documents:
- Report to the President by the National Security Council, dated September 9, 1950, "United States Courses of Action with Respect to Korea" (NSC 81/1)

- Directive to the Commander of the United Nations Forces in Korea, dated 27 September 1950, implementing NSC 81/1 and providing instructions as to further military action to be taken in Korea

- Substance of Statements made at Wake Island Conference, dated 15 October 1950, compiled by General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from notes kept by the conferees from Washington

- Memorandum Regarding October 15 Meeting with MacArthur, November 25, 1950